Fast bowler Jamie Overton to make England Test debut after Anderson injury

Hosts take 2-0 series lead into third and final Test against New Zealand at Headingley

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Fast bowler James Anderson was on Wednesday ruled out of the third and final Test against New Zealand, allowing Jamie Overton to make his England Test debut at Headingley.

Jamie replaced the veteran seamer, who picked up an ankle injury, which means his twin brother Craig Overton misses out, with the hosts enjoying an unassailable 2-0 series lead.

"Unfortunately Jimmy's not pulled up as well as we would have liked him to, so Jamie Overton's going to make his debut this week," England captain Ben Stokes told Sky Sports ahead of the third match, which begins on Thursday.

"It's unfortunate for Jimmy, but we've got a massive Test against India coming up as well. I'm not too sure how serious it is to be honest. He's just got a bit of a puffy ankle.

"Jamie's been very impressive, the way that he's bowled. We always want a point of difference in our side, bowling with serious pace and changing games as well."

The all-rounder added: "That's the only change this week. As tempting as it was to get both twins out there playing for England, Jamie's the only change."

England have been short of quick bowlers following the long-term fitness issues of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood.

“He [Jamie] fills a different role from Jimmy,” Stokes said, “but to have someone in your back pocket who can bowl 90mph is big for us."

Captain Stokes named the team during his pre-match media round, ending concerns over his own fitness. The all-rounder missed training due to illness on Tuesday, but a pair of negative Covid tests, followed by a full net session was enough to dispel any concerns over his participation.

England blasted their way to victory in the second Test in Nottingham thanks to a virtuoso last day's batting performance, with Jonny Bairstow hitting 136 and Stokes an unbeaten 75 as the hosts chased down their target of 299.

And now Stokes has urged his England players to get back out there and put on a show for the Headingley crowd.

"I've said to the players this week, let's try and think like we're in the entertainment business rather than the sporting business," said Stokes.

"There's a reason why 20,000 people came out to watch us at Trent Bridge last week. So I set a challenge to the team to be even more fearless, positive and aggressive than last week."

The Kiwis will be under pressure to avoid a whitewash after a spate of coronavirus cases in their camp. Black Caps captain Kane Williamson was forced to miss the second Test after testing positive on the eve of the match in Nottingham.

The tourists also saw Henry Nicholls, Devon Conway, Michael Bracewell and two members of their back-room team return positive results since arriving in England.

Updated: June 22, 2022, 2:11 PM
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